Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Pacaya Samaria - Where functional is fashionable every day of the year!
I just gotta tell you about the Amazing Amazon Jungle! It's just a short hop of a flight (come on, one hour on a plane to Iquitos from Lima versus 8 hours on a damned bus from Lima to Huancayo). A one hour drive through gorgeous (albeit sweaty) terrain from the airport brings you to Nauta on the Amazon River. The licensed, multilingual (and charming as all get out) indigenous local guide, appropriately named Rey, meets you at the airport, provides colorful discourse on the journey then escorts you into your boat at Nauta then on to Pacaya Samaria Eco-Lodge (see the photo for the web address). What follows is a fabulous, action packed two to three days that includes hiking through the jungle and learning about medicinal plants and poisonous frogs, snakes and insects, riding on the river boat to see the local monkeys, sloths, zillions of exotic birds and reptiles, visiting the villages where very ex-president Alberto Fujimori made sure that there were schools, fishing for piranhas to have for dinner, and eating lots and lots of great meals made from local fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. I know that I sound like a shameless promoter so I will confess that you can't come here unless you're prepared to defend yourself against mosquitoes, bats and various parasites. I also have to confess that even though I REALLY DID SEE THE PINK DOLPHINS (NOT HALLUCINATING!!!!!), I am not a good enough photographer to capture them even digitally.
New words for my return to Lima? Para llevar (Take Out!)
IDEA FOR HOW YOU CAN SAVE THE WORLD! You know how the Amazon rain forest is, "the lungs of the world," and that the world is at risk because indigenous farmers are slashing and burning down the trees for farmland? There are several international environmental and volunteer organizations that are setting up programs to convince the indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon to preserve the old growth jungle and to pursue economic growth through eco-tourism. Find one of these organizations, volunteer for a week teaching English or some other tourist tongue to indigenous children then spend a week at Pacaya Samaria Lodge hanging out and having a fabulous time. But don't forget your Malarone, because prevention is the only language that P. malariae understands!
Posted by Vanessa at 2:28 PM